The University of South Florida is moving all classes for the remainder of the spring semester to an online format, the school announced Tuesday.
The school is also postponing its spring commencement ceremonies scheduled for May.
The decision comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis and the State University System Board of Goverors directed all state universities, including USF, to continue providing remote instruction for the duration of the spring semester.
The school had already planned to continue classes online through at least April 5, but this decision means students will complete the semester online. The semester ends May 7.
Commencements for graduates were to be held May 7-9. The school is now considering expanding its summer commencement ceremonies in August to include spring graduates.
Student support functions including counseling and advising will continue remotely.
Despite shifting to online classes, USF’s campus remains open with university functions like Student Health Services and USF Health clinical operations still ongoing.
All university-sponsored events either on campus or off are canceled until further notice.
USF will continue to evaluate the situation and new guidance will be provided as needed. The university community and public can continue to check the USF coronavirus website for the latest information and resources available.
The announcement comes after several new social distancing mandates are going into effect this week. DeSantis announced Tuesday that bars would be closing statewide for 30-days beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday. DeSantis also ordered all restaurants to operate at half capacity to promote social distancing.
Florida beaches remain open, but no group larger than 10 may gather. That number is based on guidance from President Donald Trump to avoid gathering in groups larger than 10.
In St. Petersburg, any gatherings of 50 or more people are banned including those on private property. The city also moved its last call for alcohol from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 192 people tested positive for the virus in Florida. That number includes 19 individuals who were tested in Florida, but are from out of state. Seven cases have been reported in Hillsborough County. Six people in Florida have so far died from the virus, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The state has so far tested 2,004 individuals. Of those tests, 872 are still pending, which means the number of cases will likely increase as results come in.
So far 5,702 cases have been reported nationwide and more than 190,000 worldwide.